Clouds are growing heavier over Ion Chicu government, and the general situation in Moldova is rapidly drifting towards a fatal scenario plunging the country into a deep domestic political crisis
After the state of emergency was lifted a month ago, the fight against coronavirus infection, apparently, started to develop according to the worst-case scenario. So, last week the largest number of registered new cases was recorded – 1449, which is 25% more than the previous maximum, as well as the largest number of deaths – 46 people. The health care system is showing the first signs of disaster, because it cannot cope with the growing dynamics of the incidence rate, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for medical institutions administrations to hide their plight.
Against this background, the ruling coalition continues to erode, and migrating democratic MPs are further distributed among various parliamentary and factional groups. As a result, the coalition majority, with a minimum of 51 votes, is today more volatile than ever in terms of the prospects for its grip of power. To date, only 14 out of 29 PDM deputies elected to parliament in 2019 are left. PSRM has 37 deputies in a charger. However, after several socialist deputies applied to the prosecutor’s office in connection with the bribery attempts in exchange for leaving the coalition, it can be assumed that legislators might as well leave the socialist faction, given further political weakening of Igor Dodon and the parliamentary majority loyal to him.
According to some experts mingling in parapolitical circles, the plenary meeting of the parliament scheduled for this week can launch the first political transformations. First of all, voting for the NGOs law is a major challenge for the ruling majority, since it is linked to the next EU tranche. At the same time, the socialist party and probably Russian partners are not happy with the legislative initiative because they do not want the non-governmental sector to be further strengthened in Moldova. The complexity of this issue and highly electric atmosphere around the bill is also confirmed by the fact that coalition leaders, usually reluctant to public debate, suddenly began to openly express their generally antagonistic opinions.
Despite heavy criticism of the current cabinet, most political forces took a wait-and-see attitude, unwilling to be involved in game solely for the resignation of the government, without confidence to find a compromise on its new composition. Meanwhile, unprecedented activity and initiative is shown by Andrei Nastase, whose party last night sent a draft vote of no confidence in government to the colleagues from Maia Sandu’s political formation, although theoretically opposition forces lack two more votes to remove Ion Chicu. Of course, anything may happen before the plenary meeting, even that they will gain the required number of votes to enable the resignation.
It should not be excluded that a lack of understanding of what can serve the basis for a new cabinet of ministers may lead to targeted votes of no confidence in certain members of the government in order to test the potential of the new situational majority – for example, against the Minister of Health, whose resignation can be easily stipulated by the opposition as a result of professional incompetence.
Igor Dodon seems to be ready for the possible collapse of the parliamentary majority and has already outlined some of his fundamental requirements, based on the existing proper positions. In particular, the president emphasizes that he is not ready to go into deep opposition and argues that attempts to appoint a new cabinet have no prospects without his approval and without the party of socialists’ further stay in power.
Many hypotheses regarding the possible political scenarios are circulating in the Moldovan expert community. Most observers agree that the days of the current parliamentary majority are numbered. At the same time, the Chicu government can continue to function, albeit in limbo, up to the presidential election – if the situational opposition majority does not build a common vision regarding the cabinet.
Under these conditions, it should not be ruled out that a compromise will nevertheless be found and Andrei Nastase, striving for the next high position, will be given a chance to prove himself in the prime minister’s chair. The new cabinet can hardly be envied given the “legacy” left, and in general, only a very ambitious (or overconfident) person can decide to take responsibility in the current situation. At the same time, such a desire for power gives certain guarantees to the democrats that early parliamentary elections will not take place as quickly as their ill-wishers would like.
In addition, if Nastase goes into the Cabinet of Ministers, this will help partially relieve tension in the pro-European ACUM block and renew the previous systemic interaction between DA and PAS. In fact, Andrei Nastase’s focus on government affairs paves the way to the presidency for Maia Sandu, who in such circumstances can become a single candidate of pro-European political forces.
Get real time update about this post categories directly on your device, subscribe now.